The League Cup – or the ‘EFL Cup’ as it’s been rebranded for this season – hasn’t given Yeovil Town too many plum ties in the past, but this season the Glovers earned a trip to Premier League side Everton. Although the result wasn’t exactly the one desired, the 903 travelling fans from Somerset still made the night one to remember.
Despite being on a Tuesday evening and over 240 miles away, a trip to Everton represented a unique opportunity to see a historic top flight football ground. In fact, it represented the opportunity to see two top flight football grounds, as Liverpool’s home stadium Anfield is just a fifteen minute walk from Everton’s Goodison Park.
Of course, once the football tourism was over, the majority of Glovers fans flocked to get a pre-match cider. Pretty much any pub run by Liverpool fans turned out to be particularly friendly to opposition supporters, but it must also be said that the Evertonians were also extremely welcoming.
Last Tuesday, Yeovil were playing away at Mansfield Town’s Field Mill, which has a maximum capacity of just 8,186. With no disrespect whatsoever to Mansfield, it made Everton’s 39,572 capacity stadium seem all the more impressive in comparison. It truly is a spectacle to behold.
Yeovil fans and players could have been forgiven for quaking in their boots when they saw Everton’s starting line-up; Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and new signing Yannick Bolasie would be featuring. However, the Glovers held their own for a large period of the game, and it was perhaps disappointing when Aaron Lennon opened the scoring after half an hour.
The away side still fancied their chances after the break, but hopes of an unlikely upset all but vanished after a clever free kick from Barkley increased the Toffees lead. As is often the case, the lower league opposition ran out of steam in the final ten minutes and Arouna Kone netted two late goals to complete a somewhat undeserved Everton rout.
Even though Yeovil eventually tired on the pitch, the fans maintained their strong vocal support in the stands from start to finish. This didn’t go unrecognised from Everton, whose fans applauded the travelling support after the game as ‘Yeovil True’ played over the PA system. I didn’t realise anybody outside of Yeovil knew the song existed!
There was a mutual respect throughout the night that will no doubt continue between the two clubs; Everton proved their class by providing a tribute to their scout Sid Benson, who sadly passed away last week. After scoring, Barkley even revealed a shirt dedicating his goal to him, and I can safely say that everybody involved with YTFC also offers their sincere condolences.
I think it would be fair to assume that there are quite a few Evertonians who have gained a soft spot for Yeovil Town as a result of last night’s game, and vice versa. They’re certainly a club that I now admire a great deal, and I’ll be rooting for them every time I watch them on Match of the Day from now on.
Anyway, on to Doncaster Rovers!